In 2017, on this day London's famed Big Ben clock ground to a halt after going nearly five years without maintenance.
Big Ben StopsThe Cameron government's ill-advised 2012 decision to postpone major repairs on Big Ben (pictured) until 2020, which had been highly controversial to begin with, soon came to be regarded as an insult to England bordering on treason and ex-prime minister David Cameron was made the target of multiple death threats.
Cameron was so alarmed at this turn of events that at one point he even considered leaving the British Isles altogether.
This article is part of the God Save the Queen? - Not this Time! thread.
In 2010, on this day Britain entered a fresh political crisis after David Cameron rejected Nick Clegg's demand for an additional three Cabinet Ministerial Posts in the Coalition Government just one day after the British electorate voted overwhelmingly to endorse the Alternative Voting System (AVS).
The Cameron FormulaDuring the formation of a "strong, stable and legitmate" Government back in May, Cameron had devised an imaginative formula for the division of powers. As a result, almost half of Liberal Democrat Mps had received a Whitehall appointment, and Nick Clegg became Deputy Prime Minister. Effectively, the Parliamentary Party had been bought off.
However, in seeking to drive a harder bargain, Clegg had engaged with paralell talks with Gordon Brown. The fear of a Progressive Coalition being formed by Labour and the Liberal Democrats forced Cameron to up his "big, open and comprehensive offer". And as a deal-sweetener, Cameron went the "extra mile" by offering a referendum of AVS.
Cameron and Clegg had agreed to maintain the Coalition up until 2015, a full Parliamentary session. However the problem was that in the small print of the deal, Liberal Democrats could campaign independently during European and Local elections and so party politics remained a reality. And many Liberal Democrats were eager to fight a General Election under AVS in the expectation of at least doubling their number of Parliamentary seats. Such an outcome, would of course dramatically imbalance the Cameron formula because it would upgrade the Liberal Democrats to full partners.
In 2015, on this day Conservative Party leader David Cameron, elected as prime minister of Great Britain five years earlier in response to popular disenchantment with the policies of Labour PM Gordon Brown, was forced to resign after a host of political and economic miscalculations that had pushed Britain to the verge of collapse.
The Straw that broke the Camel's back by Chris OakleyOn his watch Britain had seen its road and rail transport systems grind to a halt; its international standing plummet after a number of Tehran schoolchildren were killed when a missile went astray during a joint US-UK-Israeli air strike against Iranian nuclear weapons production complexes; five major British retail store chains go bankrupt; public services to Britain's less fortunate citizens slashed to the bone; the BBC, formerly the world's most respected broadcast network, reduced to a shadow of its former glorious self; unemployment pass the 4.5 million mark; the fascist British National Party make unprecedented inroads into Parliament; the House of Commons twice come within a cat's whisker of passing referendums that would have terminated Britain's membership in the European Union by 2016; and Scottish first minister Alex Salmond push for a vote on whether to declare Scotland's independence from the rest of the United Kingdom.
As if all that wasn't enough to undermine British voters' confidence in their prime minister, the British Army was stretched to the breaking point in Afghanistan and Yemen; the neo-Peronista regime in Argentina was actively working to acquire a nuclear bomb and was also rumored to be drafting plans for a new invasion of the Falkland Islands; the National Health Service was being steadily dismantled; and the royal family were virtual prisoners at Buckingham Palace thanks to the almost-daily rioting going on in London and other major cities in the UK as economic and racial tensions worsened.
But the straw that truly broke the camel's back for the Cameron administration came in March of 2015 when two of the UK's largest banks crashed within days of each other, plunging Britain into its worst internal financial crisis since the Great Depression. By early April former PM John Major, in one of his last major public statements before his death, was blasting Cameron for--in Major's words--"pouring petrol on the fires that threaten to burn Great Britain from the pages of history". Even Margaret Thatcher, who had campaigned extensively Cameron's behalf during the 2010 general elections, was going out of her way to distance herself from the incumbent PM.